The Santa Matrix Chapter 1: Down Santa Claus Lane

Santa

Introduction

I have decided to make this blog a showcase for my fiction writing, to be done in serial form.  What follows is a story I’ve basically completed, but have been going over.  Technically, it’s not entirely finished, but these earlier chapters are good enough.  This is a strange tale featuring a freakish re-imagining of the Santa Claus mythos.  While I won’t claim it’s a masterpiece, I think it’s a unique enough story with memorable characters and themes.   In many ways, it’s a series of psychological portraits, rather than a straight ahead fantasy-horror story.  It also has humor.
I added a copyright notice as a vague attempt to prevent theft of my work.  I will not pursue any plagiarism cases in court, but I do want to assert the originality of my ideas, and will argue with any weirdo who claims they wrote this instead of me.  Oh, and here’s where I get greedy:  If you like what you read, please consider either disabling ad-blocker (this blog is ad-supported), or at least donating a little to my PayPal account (wadewainio@gmail.com).  That aside, I hope you enjoy the madness!

For the next chapter, click here!

Chapter 1: Down Santa Claus Lane

Your eyes are blurry, and your head aches — even if only slightly.
You appear to be in a fire lit cabin, warm yet never cozy.
Then you see the face and hear the voice — warm yet commanding, grandfatherly and stern.  “Hello there! My name is Santa Claus. I do hope you’re comfortable, because you’re going to be here for quite a while!” The man is indeed dressed as Santa Claus, and his face is suddenly uncomfortably close to yours.
You struggle. However, as you suspected, you are tightly bound.
Santa takes a few steps back, a little flustered.

“Now, I am sure you are confused….” He offers an exaggerated shrug, laughs, then releases the tense shrug.  “…I would be as well.”  “But believe me,” he says in a semi-lecturing tone, while wagging his gloved finger at you, ” those restraints are just as much for your protection as they are for mine.” His smile and eyes seem sincere.
“In fact,” he continues, “eventually you’ll be glad they are on.” You whimper.
“Now, just relax and I’ll explain what’s going on…and also what is going to go on, and what will never go on again.”

He slants his head quizzically.
“You don’t think it’s really me — Santa Claus –, do you?”
You shake your head up and down, indicating “Yes.”
“Does that nod mean ‘Yes, I do believe it’s actually you, Santa, or does it mean ‘Yes, you are right, I don’t really think it’s you’?”
Now you shake your head ‘No’ frantically.
“Ho ho ho!” he laughs heartily, rubbing his ample belly in the process.
“That’s okay, son! I don’t expect you to believe…at least not right away. In fact, I don’t even want to believe in myself sometimes. But you know what? Here I stand — fat, grand, and jolly as all hell.”
With that he laughs. Your lack of response is caught by his eyes.
His smile gradually turns to a light frown.
You whimper again.

“Well, if I’m being honest, I have to say I’m not telling you everything.”
He gets up close and personal again, face to face. You can feel the heat of his breath. It smells of cinnamon.  “I’m actually not the real Santa Claus. Or, more accurately, I’m not the only one. Literally millions of us dot the globe. And you know what? We’re not all just making plans about Christmas. There are all kinds of responsibilities us Santa’s have — some of which never made the official narrative, and never should.”
He pauses a moment, lightly smiles.

“And, I have to tell you, there is no Mrs. Claus. None of us Santas are allowed any sexual relations. No women, no men, no 8 tiny reindeer. Not even with each other! In fact, my sweaty balls haven’t slapped hot beav’ in about fifty-six years.” He stops suddenly, his entire body seeming possessed and unable to move.  His eyes roll, his lips quiver, and his body quakes violently. Drool emanates from his mouth, followed by little trickles of blood.  Suddenly, as if being released, he falls to his knees, breathing heavily down there for perhaps a full minute.   “See,” he finally says, gasping for breath between certain words. “C-can’t even… th-th-think about sex….” He coughs. “Not v-v-very much anyway.” Before long he’s laying down again, clutching his Santa hat in agony. After staying rolled into a ball on the floor for a half minute or so, he rises and begins to regain composure (although tears still well in his eyes). He wipes sweat from his brow, goes “Whew!” and puts his hat back on.   “You see? Not exactly a gentle stroll down Santa Claus Lane…is it?”
You shake your head ‘No.’

He now approaches you, an earnest look upon his face.
“You must already know what it’s like then, yes?”
You shake your head ‘Yes.’
“See!,” he half-smiles, “I knew you would know!”
His pained expression has now transformed to joy, and he claps his hands mightily.
He is excited, enthused.
He again wags his finger at you and says, “Now, just you wait! I have more surprises for you!”  He hacks up a little blood, embarrassingly wipes his mouth, then hops off quickly — outside your field of vision.

His childish energy makes your head ache, and feelings of slight nausea begin to emerge in your stomach — no, not just in your stomach, but in your very being!
Still, you admirably hold back those feelings of physical disgust.
Oddly enough, though, you almost want to hold onto them, to deliberately feel sick.
Why? Perhaps just to know you’re not in a dream.
Deep down, you want to know this is real. You need to know it. You don’t want delusions.
You can’t pinch yourself, but you can certainly feel disgust. In fact, that’s one of the few things you seem capable of at the moment.
In a dream, you’re less likely to feel actual disgust. It’s just too ethereal.

Suddenly, Santa saunters back, holding a leash.
Attached to that leash is a grotesque man-creature.
It is growling low, and you can’t look away.
Your eyes meet its eyes, which makes it hiss.
“Ho ho ho ho!” Santa exclaims again.
“I want you to meet one of my helpers!”
Apparently, Santa realizes you can’t properly communicate,
so he affirms his grip on the creature’s leash, casually approaches you and quickly removes the gag. “There!,” he says, “Now we can actually talk!”
You don’t talk, at least not right away.
Instead, you study the creature’s unique physique.

As you noticed before, it is quite human-like, although its eyes are huge and bright red.
Until this very second, you hadn’t even noticed quite how huge, how red.
How had you not noticed them instantly, with how freakish they look?
“This helper — this elf, as he might traditionally be called — is named Andy.
Don’t you worry about him. More than likely he is just being protective.
Isn’t that right, Andy?”  “Fuck you, man,” says Andy, looking directly at you.
A bizarrely transcendent feeling washes over you, like this moment is actually meant to be.  “Don’t you have a car to chase or a bone to bury, Andy?,” you say, surprising yourself.
Oddly enough, Andy smiles. There aren’t fangs, like you assumed there would be. His teeth are apparently normal, human.  Now you wonder where your wit even came from.
“I have bones to bury, Jeff,” Andy says.
“That’s bones, plural. And I’ll have more to add to my collection if you don’t watch your step.”  “Now, Andy, be a good boy. Jeff is here to help us now.”
Santa looks at you, smiles, while petting Andy.

“There is a reason for all of this, Jeff. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to put Andy back in his cage.  I will only be a moment.”
True to his word, Santa returns in a minute or two.
He offers to feed you milk and cookies, which you decline as respectfully as possible.
Mentally, you curse God for letting this all happen.
“Now now now,” Santa says.
“Do you really think I can’t hear that, Jeff? Such awful blasphemy! And in my presence? Tsk tsk tsk.”
He spits out a bit more blood.
“The funny thing is,” he says in self-reflection, “I’m not dying or anything. It truly is because I occasionally think sinful thoughts. Let’s just say God has me on a short leash….”
He wipes some blood spittle onto a cloth.
“On that note, do you want me to loosen your straps, Jeff?”
You chuckle a bit.

“I know, silly question. Of course you do. And, just so you know, I can’t actually read your mind all the time. If I could do that, my head would probably explode — and not in a good way. I can only read some of your sinful thoughts. You sure have enough of those, but they usually only come in little blips rather than full-on waves.”  You look at the blood that Santa spit on the floor.  “So, I will eventually free you, but I must first explain exactly what is going on. And I mean that. My job here isn’t to scare you, be cryptic, leave you in the dark. I am here to enlighten you, set you straight, and give you a new path in life. Basically, I’m talking about a fresh, new start.”

He pulls up a large, wooden chair and sits his big, fat buns down upon it.
“There, that’s better. Now, let’s get down to brass tacks here.
How can I put this diplomatically, so you’ll understand it? It’s really not an easy message to convey without having you want to murder me, kill yourself, or both.”
Santa ponders for a moment.  “Aha!,” he suddenly exclaims.
“You are here because you are destined to be here, Jeff! You are not only my servant, but a servant to humanity. You are not my captive slave, but a dutiful and loyal servant to God and your Fellow Man!”  “What the fuck are you talking about?,” you ask boldly.
Santa laughs. “That’s okay, I can’t punish you over mere salty talk. I used to be like that myself.  But you know what? Eventually you’ll be house broken, just like I was.”

“You see, Jeff, it’s a very bad world out there. I believe — no, I know — that all people start off relatively innocent.  Sure, children have dark impulses, too, but they’re more in tune with psychological development, and basic survival instinct. A child is naughty because it feels it must cry to get what it wants. It also hasn’t learned everything about morals, basic standards of behavior, et cetera. By a certain age, most of us grow out of that phase, at least most of the time. But you know what? Some of us are lured further down that mean ol’ path of naughtiness, until they’re no longer good little boys and girls. They’re just plain rotten skunks.” “What does that make me, ‘Santa’?,” — and you say “Santa” rather sarcastically — “Am I a rotten skunk?” “Yes, Jeff. I’m afraid so. But please, don’t interrupt me or I’ll have to retrieve Andy the Elf again — and this time he’ll inflict some discipline on you. You wouldn’t want that for Christmas!”
Santa says that a little too warmly for comfort.

“Okay, now that that’s settled, I want to tell you about the rotten skunk-people of the earth. Forgive me for getting overly philosophical here, but you need this. The world needs this.”  He slowly walks around the room as he speaks.

“I think we all have some rotten qualities, don’t you? In fact, that’s part of how we rationalize our own naughtiness. We say, ‘Well, this is just what everyone else does, so who cares?’ Well, I care, Jeff. In fact, I have to care. It’s in my job description. And that’s what’s interesting about you now, Jeff. I’m going to make you care more, too. A lot more. You see, I’m hiring you to be one of me. I too was a rotten skunk, wandering around, and stinking everything up. The problem is, I didn’t notice my own stink. I would only notice how others stunk. I was deluded. I thought I smelled like a bed of roses rather than a trash heap. I paid for that delusion, too. One fateful eve, I was kidnapped just as you were, strapped to an upright table and lectured bizarrely. So I know exactly how you feel, believe it or not.”

“Well, that’s very reassuring.” “Well, it ought to be. It will be part of how we connect — how we get used to each other, transcend our human differences and do some good for the world.”   Santa looks at you sternly. “You’d like to do some good for the world, wouldn’t you?”
You chuckle.

(To Be Continued...)  

© 2018 Wade Wainio
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